1

torture

play
noun tor·ture \ˈtȯr-chər\

Definition of torture

  1. 1 :  the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure

  2. 2a :  something that causes agony or painb :  anguish of body or mind :  agony

  3. 3 :  distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument :  straining

Examples of torture in a Sentence

  1. Waiting is just torture for me.

  2. Listening to him can be torture.

Recent Examples of torture from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'torture'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of torture

Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle


2

torture

verb tor·ture

Definition of torture

tortured

;

torturing

play \ˈtȯrch-riŋ, ˈtȯr-chə-\
  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cause intense suffering to :  torment

  3. 2 :  to punish or coerce by inflicting excruciating pain

  4. 3 :  to twist or wrench out of shape :  distort, warp

torturer

play \ˈtȯr-chər-ər\ noun

Examples of torture in a Sentence

  1. The report revealed that prisoners had been repeatedly tortured.

  2. Don't torture yourself over the mistake.

First Known Use of torture

1588

Synonym Discussion of torture

afflict, try, torment, torture, rack mean to inflict on a person something that is hard to bear. afflict is a general term and applies to the causing of pain or suffering or of acute annoyance, embarrassment, or any distress. ills that afflict the elderly try suggests imposing something that strains the powers of endurance or of self-control. children often try their parents' patience torment suggests persecution or the repeated inflicting of suffering or annoyance. a horse tormented by flies torture adds the implication of causing unbearable pain or suffering. tortured by a sense of guilt rack stresses straining or wrenching. a body racked by pain

TORTURE Defined for English Language Learners

torture

play
noun

Definition of torture for English Language Learners

  • : the act of causing severe physical pain as a form of punishment or as a way to force someone to do or say something

  • : something that causes mental or physical suffering : a very painful or unpleasant experience

torture

verb

Definition of torture for English Language Learners

  • : to cause (someone) to experience severe physical pain especially as a form of punishment or to force that person to do or say something

  • : to cause (someone) to feel very worried, unhappy, etc.


TORTURE Defined for Kids

1

torture

play
noun tor·ture \ˈtȯr-chər\

Definition of torture for Students

  1. 1 :  the act of causing great pain especially to punish or to obtain a confession

  2. 2 :  distress of body or mind Waiting is just torture for me.


2

torture

play
verb tor·ture

Definition of torture for Students

tortured

;

torturing

  1. 1 :  to punish or force someone to do or say something by causing great pain

  2. 2 :  to cause great suffering to

torturer

noun


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